Apparently, the other 3 rules were ignored as well, and a 3 year old boy is dead because his father was careless and stupid.
A few weeks back, I saw a big stink running around some of the gun-blogosphere about the 4 Rules, especially Rule 1. I stayed out of it, because I got tired of arguing how many angels could dance on the head of a pin long ago. I guess now I’m going to say my piece.
The 4 Rules (or the NRA’s 3 Rules or whatever set of safety rules you want to embrace) are there to keep these things from happening. Col. Cooper’s Rule 1 is the most basic safety rule: “The gun is always loaded.” That means treat the gun like it’s loaded–even if you and 3 other people have all confirmed that it is fact unloaded and it hasn’t left your possession for a microsecond since then. You still treat it like it’s loaded–no pointing the business end at something you don’t want to kill or destroy, finger off the trigger and so on.
And for the record, no, I don’t approve of simunitions and I think all force of force training should be done with blue/red guns or Airsofts. Live-fire houses? Only if I’m the only one armed and the instructor is behind heavy cover. Why do I go against the opinion of the multitude? Because mistakes happen–and I don’t want to be one or commit one.
If you still want to argue the point, go to Union County, North Carolina. I suspect there is a Dad there who wishes he had followed Rule 1.